Is what I said after my 1st yoga experience. After my 2nd, my opinion about yoga did not improve and perhaps got worse. The fairy tale “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears”, a story of a curious girl who broke into a house and tried 3 bowls of porridge, sat on 3 chairs and laid in 3 beds before she found what was just right for her. This story is an analogy for my journey to discover yoga.
As an adolescent, I was physically active as a runner, dancer, gymnast and cheerleader. In high school, my ballet teacher suggested I take a yoga class. The hour long class was torture. The poses were not difficult given my youthful Gumby-like flexibility but we held each for what seemed to be an eternity. I slipped out of the class when the instructor turned off the lights and told us to lie on the floor. “Boring! People consider this exercise?
“This yoga class is too slow!”
As a young adult working on my MBA, most of my time on campus was spent in the classroom or library. I carved out time to visit the expansive gym that offered a variety of group exercise classes daily: step aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, Zumba and yoga. Walking into the large gymnasium full of students was intimidating. The class began abruptly with the instructor barking orders like a drill sergeant in a language foreign to me. The class shifted quickly from one move to the next. I thought, “This is supposed to be relaxing?” I felt more stressed-out trying to keep up with the students around me than I did prior to the class.
“This yoga class is too fast!”
The class ended with the instructor chanting something that sounded like gibberish followed by my classmates eagerly parroted this alien language. “Weirdos! Is this a freaking cult?
“Yoga is not for me!”
As a driven business woman starting a new career post-grad, my work schedule was as jammed as the traffic on the Capital Beltway. Despite loving my career I was stressed out to the max. My solution to the stress from running on the corporate treadmill was to run in my spare time. One icy winter night after logging 7.5 miles inside on the treadmill at the gym, I was in need of a good stretch. I saw women carrying yoga mats filing into the exercise room. “Ugh, yoga! F**k it, I could use an hour of stretching.”
I was too exhausted from running to be judgmental. The instructor approached me as I grabbed a mat and offered a warm welcome. During class, she explained each pose in a detailed manner that kept me from needing to survey the room. Each pose was held long enough to explore without getting bored or frazzled.
“This yoga class is just right!”
Driving home I felt like my ass had been completely kicked. At the same time, I felt completely happy, relaxed and one with the universe. Third time is the charm! I was eager for more. This was the a-ha moment that started my yoga journey:
“Yoga IS for me!”
“Yoga Rocks!” is what I say now and for the past 15 years of practice. I thank my inner Goldilocks who was open to give yoga a proper trial.
Do you think yoga sucks? Have you given it a fair trial? Are you ready to start your journey? Now is the time for yoga! I encourage you to try several styles of yoga and try a few different teachers to see what yoga class is Just Right for you.
“Now is the time for yoga!”